Creation of Authority in a society is essential for maintenance of law and order in the society. In the primitive societies, the political Authority was closely bound up with religion and other social institutions. If Authority is considered as power of one or more persons to make decisions and to enforce the rules of the society, then the exercise of Authority can be said to prevail in all human societies, although its form is bound to differ from society to society.
A society is a group of people held together by a system of common rules, expectations and duties. Man by and large is a rule-following animal; on the whole, people do what is expected of them. The Authority is a reflection of the Ultimate Authority of God, Who is the Creator of All, present in every one equally; in reality, the DOER in real sense. Respect of the Authority is the respect to God.
For the clear understanding of the symbolic meaning of Sword as a Symbol of Authority, we must fully understand the vital importance of the basic human social order established by the Creator for evolution of the human personality. Family is the first institution, where personality develops within its matrix and the child learns the behavior required of him in responding to the expectations of his parents. Father is the head of the family, and is required to be a responsible man to give a loving and reasonable lead to the members of the family. The family will function smoothly and happily as well knit unit, when its members lead a disciplined life, respecting the norms and Authority. However, if there are inconsistencies in the demands and expectations placed upon some members, the results are conflicts, stress and anxiety, ending in raising of rebellions. This situation is equally applicable to all societies, groups, institutions, organizations, big or small; from families, schools, universities, religious places, any social gatherings, work places, etc. to the state organizations of a country and the international bodies. Any one, who does not adjust with the Authority of the respective institution or organization and develops the rebellious character, will only call for his ruin. If majority of the people develop rebellious nature, surely that institution or the people in general will be heading toward their utter disaster. Character is evolved in leading a responsible life, always respecting the laws of the institution or the country on the basis of Truth.
In all societies people must learn to get along with other people; social norms are the established ways of developing this compatibility. Norms require certain kinds of action and prohibit other kinds. Each group supports its norms through sanctions; it rewards those who conform to its standard of behavior and punishes those who violate them. No society can exist without norms , for they constitute one of the most important elements in its structure. No society worth the name can exist without observance of its own respective discipline norms.
What to do where Those in Authority go Wrong and are Prejudiced against any Section of the People
Where those in Authority are prejudiced and oppressive against any section of the people or individual, the answer is not raising of rebellions. In this connection a very interesting event in the Sikh religious history is given. Guru Gobind Singh, holding a Double Edged Sword in his right hand, thundered to the large assemblage of Sikhs on March 30, 1699, that he needed 5 volunteer Sikhs, who would offer their heads for "Dharma". Five Sikhs did come forward one after the other to offer their heads to the Guru. Those 5 Sikhs began to be called, Five Beloved Ones. The Guru then explained to the gathering the significance of offering of one�s head to the Guru. This phrase is also used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Call from God to every one - Slok Mehla 5, Raga Maru, page 1102. "Pehla maran kabool, jivan ki chad aas. Hoho sagal ki rainka, tou aao hamarai pas.." - God thus speaks to Man - Only then you can come near Me, when you become the dust of every one�s feet. First you have to rid yourself of Egoism and Attachment, and abandon your self conceit and selfishness totally." The Guru explained that if the Sikhs wanted to live in freedom from the subjugation of the high caste people and the tyrant rulers, it would be necessary for them to maintain purity of character, rising above their selfishness. This was the true offering of one's own self as a sacrifice and the conquest of one's self. Before such persons, teaches Guru Arjan Dev in Rag Sorath, "No evil mighty person can make a successful stand before person(s) so well armed who lead a Truthful and humble life with God." God Alone is the DOER, the Creator of all Causes, makes the Truthful persons as the instrument for bringing about the desirable changes. He is equally present in all. Man has to accept the Authority of his Creator in total obedience to His Will under all circumstances. CREATE MORE OF GOODNESS BY LIVING IN OBEDIENCE TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD; THE EVIL WILL DIE OF ITS NATURAL DEATH. GOD ALONE IS THE DOER.
It was, therefore, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee made it obligatory for the Sikhs to keep Sword with them as a Symbol of the Divine Authority to ever inspire them to willingly accept God as the DOER and have complete reliance on His doings alone; never to raise any rebellion against the established authority of the society, as God alone is the Doer. Acceptance of God's Will under all circumstances sweetly and willingly, is the Cardinal Basic Trait of Sikhism. It is the Duality in us, that impel us to rebel against any established authority, as everything takes place under His Will, whether it is Good or Evil. If the Divine Conscience in us make us realize that the commands of the social authority are in contradiction of the Divine Authority, we should reject them outright and leave the results in His hands, but should not raise rebellions. Raising of rebellions is an immature and childish trait of expressing one's Anger, which invariably proves destructive alround. The matured persons know how to adjust with the society on the basis of Truth, and by their exalted personalities become instrumental in changing the society toward betterment. God abides in all equally - The Truth ultimately triumphs.
Disobedience to the Authority of God - The Original Sin in Old Testament of the Bible
Now let us examine the Teachings as they exist in western scriptures.
The Old Testament of the Bible is equally revered by the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Excerpts from Chapter on GENESIS, are given below -
The Second Account of the Creation. Paradise
At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven, there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for Yahwah God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till he soil. However, a flood was rising from the earth and watering all the surface of the soil. Yahweh God fashioned man of dust frm the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.
Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put put the man he had fashioned. Yahweh God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. A river flowed from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided to make four streams. The first is named the Pishon, and this encircles the whole land of Havilah where there is gold. The gold of this land is pure; bdellium and onyx stone are found there. The second river is named the Gihon, and this encircles the whole land of Cush. The third river is named the Tigris, and this flows to the east of Ashur. The fourth river is is the Euphrates. Yahweh God took the man and settled him in he garden of Eden to cultivate and take take care of it. Then Yahweh God gave this adminition, "You may eat indeed all the trees in the garden. Nevdertheless of the tree of knowledge of good and evil , you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it, you shall most surely die."
Yahweh God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate". So from the soil Yahweh God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see wat he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So Yahweh God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept , he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. Yahweh God built the rib he had taken from the maninto a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclainmed: "This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man." This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body. Now both of them were naked, and his wife , but they felt no shame in front of each other..
The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, "Did God really say you were not eat from any of the trees in the garden?" The woman answered the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden - God said, "You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death." Then the serpent said to the woman, "No! You will not die. God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.." The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves lion-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. But Yahweh God called to the man - "Where are you" he asked. "I heard the sound of you in the garden;" He replied, "I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." "Who told you that you were naked?" he asked. "Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?" The man replied, "It was woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it." Then Yahweh God asked the woman, "What is this, you have done?" The woman replied, "The serpent tempted me and I ate.". Then Yaweh God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this - Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other, you and woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush our head and you will strite its hee."
To the woman he said, "I will multiply your pains in childbearing, you shall give birth to to your children in pain. Your yearning shall be for your husband, and yet he will lord it over you."
To the man he said, "Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, accursed be the soil because of you. With suffering shall ou get your food from it every day of your life. It shall yield you brambles and thistles, and you shall eat wild plants.. With the sweat of your brow shall you eat your bread, until you return to the soil, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return."
The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live. Yahweh God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then Yaweh God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, with the knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.". So Yaweh God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life."
The Christian versions of the Bible include both Old and New Testaments. Christians consider them equally inspired, but with the New Testament representing the fulfillment and climactic completion of the Old. The Jews, on the other hand, adhere to the original covenant only and to them the Old Testament is the whole of the Bible. The writing of the New Testament was completed long after the death of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God. THIS IS DISPUTED BY MANY CRITICS, AS BIBLE CONTAINS MANY INCORRECT STATEMENTS.
One wonders at the logic of the above stated Biblical Myth, wherein God is stated to have commanded Adam not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Rather it should have stated that God educates the humans with the Knowledge and Value of obedience to His Authority, as the loved Parent and Teacher. A person without knowledge and an aptitude for learning, is worse than an animal. The BIBLICAL MYTH THEREFORE APPEARS TO BE MISREPRESENTING THE FACTUAL POSITION!!
In sharp contrast to the above stated Biblical Myth, in Sikh Scriptures God is taught as our Parent, Who creates us, sustains us, teaches us and guides us. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee in Chandi di Var stated, "Prithmai khanda saj ke jin sansar opaya." God when He created the Universe and the humans, He first imparted the Knowledge of His Authority, and the Value of its Obedience. (SWORD IS UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED AS THE SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY, AND ALSO KNOWLEDGE, WHICH CUTS AS UNDER THE VEIL OF IGNORANCE.)
One of the most important concepts in Christianity is Original sin. This is the belief that mankind , which is the progeny of the first created Adam and Eve, who lived in heaven and were thrown down to Earth by God, when Adam ate the fruit forbidden by God and thus stated to have committed the sin of Dis-obedience to God's Command, in other words Raisng of the Rebellion aganst the Divine Will or Command. As Adam and Eve are considered to the First Parents of All Humanity, so it is believed that all humans born would inherit the Original Sin. This also is not true, as man's character is largely formed in the environments and the society he is placed by GOD. The Christians believe that Jesus Christ gave his life on the Cross for atonement of this Original Sin of all the humanity with his blood offered to God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, they would thus be delivered not only of the Original Sin of Dis-obedience to the Divine Will, but on all counts. This is totally a false belief. Punishing whole of humanity for the act of one is not only inherently unfair and unwarranted but also in opposition to other Biblical verses - Deut - 24.16. As, "fathers shall not be put to death for the trespasses of children; neither shall children put to death for their fathers." (2 Chron.25.54). Also, "every man shall be put to death for his own sins," (2 Kings 14.6)
Jesus was born as a man as other humans are born, and should also be considered to have been born with the Original Sin. Original Sin means man's Disobedience to the Commands of God or the raising of rebellion against the authority of God. His death was not for atonement of the Original Sin, but was due to his involvement in a feud with the priests of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Jesus exposed the priests' corruption who in league with the traders were making money by selling animals and birds in the temple, which were being sacrificed there in the name of God for atonement of the sins of the devotees. The Jewish priests did not take this insult lying down but in their spirit of revenge made false accusations against Jesus to the Roman authorities that he was a rebel and claimed himself to the king of the Jews. This led to his crucifixion.
Did Jesus never disobey the Commands of God and thus never committed any Sin? Jesus began his ministry when he became 30 years of age, which lasted for two years only before his crucifixion; nothing is known of his early life. From the study of the Four Gospels of Mathew, Luke, Mark and John in the New Testament of the Bible, which give the details of his 2 years ministry, one would dispassionately come to the conclusion that he was defying the Commands of God in exhibiting his own importance by working magical feats and miracles against the laws of Nature or God; by raising the dead ones back to life, walking on the water, turned water into wine, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Quiet now! Be calm! And the wind dropped and all was calm again. Just to show that wind and sea also obeyed him. Even a barren fig tree, which gave him no fruits, was also cursed. This was the rebellion against the Will of God, by Jesus. Not only this, story of resurrection of Dead Jesus back to Life has also been coined to show Jesus - Divine Status. THIS IS ALL REBELLION AGAINST THE AUTHORITY OF GOD ALONE.
When Guru Hargobind, the 6th Guru, used to live in Amritsar, one of his sons, Atal Rai, used to play at bat and ball with a boy named Mohan. Once they played until nightfall. The victory remained with the Guru�s son Atal Rai, and it was agreed between the two boys that Mohan should pay his forfeit in the morning. It so happened that Mohan at night was bitten by a cobra and died. Next day Atal went to Mohan�s house and there he was informed of the situation. Atal said: �No, he is not dead, he is alive.� He went near Mohan and touched him with his bat and said: �Mohan arise. You ought not to sleep so late. Arise, and pay me what I have won.� To the wonder of every one , Mohan was made alive, and got up. The Guru, who was sitting in the congregation, heard of this news, and did not cherish it. It was an interference in the Will of God.Whenever any one would die, he would bring the dead one to Atal Rai. When Atal came home, he saw the Guru was angry and told him that either he (Atal) should live or the Guru. Atal then prayfully said to his father: "May you live for ages, I depart from the Earth." The boy went in a seclusion, after offering his prayers, blended his light with the Supreme Light.
At Kiratpur, one day Baba Gurditta, the oldest son of Guru Hargobind, joined a hunting party. It so happened that one Sikh shot a cow by mistake for a deer, with his arrow. The Hindu shepherds came and arrested the offending Sikh. Baba Gurditta went to his assistance and offered to give compensation. But shepherds would not consent to have less than the restoration of the cow to life. Gurditta was in a dilemma. If he restored the cow to life, he knew that the Guru would be displeased. He had before him the example of his younger brother, Baba Atal. Gurditta saw that the poor Sikh would be harassed and made a hostage. He at last decided to help the poor Sikh and brought back the dead cow to life. The Guru was informed of the event. The Guru said: "It is not pleasing to me that any one should set himself up as God's equal, and restore life to the dead. People die every day. Everybody will be bringing his dead to my door ..." Baba Gurditta bowed at the feet of his father, saying: "May you live for ever, I depart." He was the youth of 24 years, was married, had two sons and left behind the widow.
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur at Delhi was given the choice either to show some miracle or accept Islam, failing which he would be executed. The Guru outright rejected both the alternatves, and willingly accepted death. Describing Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom, Guru Gobind Singh in his Composition, Bchittar Natak stated, "(Guru Tegh Bahadur) gave his life for the sake of Dharma (Righteousness); He gave up his head but ever remained fixed to the TRUTH. To work miracles and other magical feats under the veil of TRUTH, make god-men ashamed of such hypocrisies". THE MESSAGE WAS TO ALWAYS ACCEPT THE DIVINE AUTHORITY SWEETLY AND NEVER TO REBEL AGAINST GOD..
It was during Guru Angad Dev, the 2nd Guru's ministry that one evening in the hot weather there arose a storm which brought clouds of dust and hindered the preparation of dinner. Jiva, the Guru's cook, said that he could only serve it if the Guru quelled the storm. The Guru said to him. "O Jiva, remain ever satisfied with the Will of God. This is the main article of our faith. God is our Father, and those children who obey their Father, become nearer to Him."